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Europe experienced its coldest spring in almost ten years, a U.N. weather expert said on Tuesday.
However, Clare Nullis, a spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization, warned that this didn’t mean the battle against climate change was turning.
“Just because this year has got off to a relatively cool start by recent standards, does not mean that we’ve hit the pause button on climate change,” she said.
The average temperatures between March and May across the continent were 0.45C (degrees Celsius), Nullis said, below the 1991-2020 average.
The figures were coldest in Europe since spring 2013.
Despite Europe having a colder May, data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service showed the month’s low temperatures contrasted with the global average temperature.
According to the UN the average temperature across the world last month was 0.26C higher than the 1991-2020 mean.
North Africa, the Middle East, western Greenland and parts of Russia were above the average temperature for the month, the UN said.
Temperatures for May dropped below average in southern and central United States, parts of northern Canada, most of India, eastern Russia, south-central Africa and eastern Antarctica, it added.
Nullis said there was also “quite a considerable rise” in CO2 in the atmosphere at Mauna Loa, an atmospheric monitoring station in Hawaii.
“The fact CO2 does have such a long lifetime in the atmosphere does mean that future generations – and we’re not just talking about one or two, we’re talking about many generations – will be committed to seeing more impacts of climate change,” she warned.
She stressed rising levels will also have a “very serious impact” on the planet’s oceans which absorb almost a quarter of CO2 emissions.